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Revised DS 7 is an inspirational icon.

Revised DS 7 is an inspirational icon.

The French car manufacturer, DS Automobiles, is building its brand on the original Citroën DS of 1955. That car was a technological masterpiece and one that Citroën quite rightly holds up as one of its greatest ever cars. One of its hallmarks was the way it drove and rode – there was nothing that could compete with its hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension, brakes, steering and clutch. When Citroën decided to launch a range of new upmarket models in 2010 it turned to the DS name, and initially offered its cars with dual Citroën and DS badging. Then in 2014 the DS models were separated from Citroën with the company believing DS could stand on its own two feet as a separate brand.

Premium, Upmarket Appearance;

The recently revised DS 7 sits on the EMP2 platform which is shared with the Peugeot 5008 and Citroën C5 Aircross SUVs. Boasting a clean, crisp exterior design, the revised DS 7 certainly has a premium, upmarket appearance, while the car’s well-appointed and classy interior features eye-catching materials, buttons, switches and controls to complete the upmarket feel. Enhanced by DS PIXEL LED VISION 3.0 and DS LIGHT VEIL, the DS 7’s light signature gives it a sharp, unforgettable look. The high-tech headlights, combined with a new grille design, emphasise the elegance of the frontal design, while the razor-sharp lines and unique proportions provide the car with dashing good looks. At the rear, the full LED scale-effect rear lights emphasise the car’s refreshed light signature, making it easily recognisable after dark.  


Competitors to the DS 7 include the likes of the Volvo XC40, Audi Q3, Jaguar E-Pace, BMW X3, and Range Rover Evoque, while the new DS is one of the tallest cars in its class, and boasts a longer wheelbase than many of its rivals too. DS thinks its cars, and its brand, are the automotive equivalent of other high-end French names like Chanel and Hermes, and its ‘French couture’ products offer something different from the German, Swedish, and British norm.

Engine Options;

Engine options in the revised DS 7 consist of a 1.5-litre BlueHDi turbo-diesel unit with 130bhp (Performance Line and Rivoli trim levels only) and a 1.6-litre petrol/electric E-Tense Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) with 225bhp in Performance Line and Rivoli trim levels – all of which deliver power to the cars’ front wheels. For drivers looking for the added benefit of all-wheel drive capability, the E-Tense PHEV can be specified in Rivoli trim with 300bhp or in range-topping Opera trim with 360bhp. With a wealth of experience from their participation and two double championship titles in Formula E, the engineers at DS Automobiles have built technology into the DS 7’s E-Tense power unit that is straight from motor racing, such as energy recovery under braking. A smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission comes as standard across the entire engine range in the revised DS7.

Trim Levels;

The revised DS 7 is available in three highly-specified trim levels –Performance Line (the sporty choice), Rivoli (the posh choice) and Opera (the extra-posh choice). All models are comprehensively equipped, with even the Performance Line version getting 19-inch alloy wheels, DS PIXEL LED headlights, 3D LED rear lights, DS Light Veil LED daytime-running lights, a 12-inch HD touchscreen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, front & rear parking sensors, reversing camera with 180-degree vision, DS ACTIVE SCAN SUSPENSION, Mirror Screen with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ connectivity, Black Alcantara upholstery, and a leather-covered steering wheel, along with a suite of advanced safety and driver assistance features, and lots more besides.

Test Car;

My test car was a DS 7 ‘Performance Line’ E-Tense Plug-in Hybrid 225bhp, which was finished in elegant Lacquered Grey metallic paint for a truly distinctive look. The car’s tall, rounded roof means that headroom is good for all occupants, with excellent levels of leg and elbow-room also available for all five occupants. Boot space is equally impressive, with 555-litres available with the rear seats in place, and up to 1,752-litres on offer when the rear seats are folded flat – all of which can be easily accessed via a wide and low opening. When viewed from the front, I found that my test car somewhat resembled an Audi Q5 with its large hexagonal grille, while the horizontal LED daytime-running-lights placed into the car’s front apron look fantastic, and provide the car with a distinctive design flair. At the rear, the car’s signature 3D LED tail-lights are a real attention grabber, while chunky black cladding injects a degree of ruggedness to the mix.

On The Road;

On the road, my DS 7 test car made great use of the 225bhp and hefty 360Nm of torque available by providing swift forward motion with even the slightest push of the accelerator pedal. Body control in corners is well composed, with the car steering with great precision, and strong brakes providing quick and accurate deceleration at all times. Capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 9.4-seconds, the refined and punchy hybrid powertrain can reach a top speed of 214km/h (where permitted), and is capable of returning fuel consumption as low as 1.6l/100km on a WLTP combined driving cycle, while costing just €140 for an annual road tax disc. The 7.4kW on-board charger enables a full charge (0-100%) to be completed in as little as 1hr 45m, with a full battery providing up to 69km of pure-electric driving range. Occupant comfort in the revised DS 7 is another strong point, with the DS Active Scan Suspension playing its part in absorbing even the harshest of road imperfections.

Verdict & Pricing

The revised DS 7 E-Tense Plug-in Hybrid brings together comfort and efficiency that provides a smooth and enjoyable occupant experience for journeys with a premium feel. It is a super-stylish, practical, versatile, refined, and very spacious SUV, with a luxurious, high-quality interior. Created by DS to tackle its German, Swedish, and British rivals head-on, the revised DS 7 is a highly commendable mid-size luxury SUV that brings with it a ‘Different Spirit’ that harks back to the wonderful Citroën DS of 1955. Priced from €51,785 (on-the-road), the revised DS 7 comes with the reassurance of a 5-year warranty as standard (T’s & C’s apply).

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